Rock Dog 2016: Review

Rock Dog Plot

The 2016 Chinese movie starts off making a reference to the Big Lebowski. You have Sam Elliot opening the movie with a long tale about the main character of the story, Bodi and his father. The movie is set up 2D in the beginning in flashback but gradually transforms into a 3D animation. Told as if it were a Western in the beginning, there’s a fight between two distinctly different groups; the good, the bad and yes, even ugly. There’s even some tumbleweeds in the background to draw you in.

rock_dogThe movie was produced by Mandoo Pictures and Huayi Brothers. The film is directed by Ash Brannon and its based on the Chinese graphic novel, Tibetan Rock Dog by Zheng Jun. The movie has many talented voices from Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, Lewis Back, Kenan Thompson and more. The film takes between the countryside and city life. The story follows a young Tibetan Mastiff who leaves his home to become a rock musician. With the support from his father his goal is not only accept for who he is, a guard dog, but he also has to balance in becoming a musician. Bodi the young Tibetan Mastiff must face many challenges from fighting wolves, become a musician, and gaining friends.

The movie was released on July 8, 2016 in China and had a United States release by Lionsgate in February. The overall budget of the movie was $60 million but had a box office flop in the United States and China.

Thank you to ROCK And DROOL for giving me the opportunity to watch this movie and write a review.

Rock Dog Review

If you enjoy the Kung Fu Panda franchise I would recommend watching this movie. There are many similarities between the Kung Fu Panda series from the transition to 2D in the beginning to 3D. The story line from accepting yourself also plays a major role in this film. I enjoyed the animation at times from the fighting sequences to the detail in the musical instruments. What surprised me the most was the fight scene toward the ending of the film. The part where Bodi is fighting in the ring with the fence sequence in the background really stood out to me for animation. The animation was a plus, and the message of the movie was heartwarming. I also enjoyed the references to certain musicians in pop culture and had a Big Lebowski feel towards the beginning of the film and the end.

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Other than the animation, I was not happy with the plot overall and character development. There were multiple plots entwined into one and even though the end summed everything together i felt like i was lost halfway through the movie. The characters in the film fell flat and were not likable. Bodi the main character was extremely gullible and didn’t have much of a character development besides learning his strengths which he already had. I did like the development of the cat, Angus Scattergood but other than that the other characters were forgotten. I would have really liked to see a development of the characters that Bodi had met in the park and see their perspective of what it takes to be in a band. If that were the case it might have gotten a mix between the movie Sing and the movie Zootopia. I would recommend this movie to kids but there’s a good reason as to why the movie flopped at the Chinese box office. I would rate this movie 2 guitars out of 5.

Kung Fu Panda 3 Review

Kung Fu Panda 3 is a 2016 3D American-Chinese computer animated film produced by DreamWorks Animation. The film is classified as a comedy martial arts film and was distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is sequel to the 2011 Film Kung Fu Panda 2 and the Kung Fu Panda Franchise. The film had a limited release in China on January 23, 2016 and a united States release, January 29, 2016.
The film was directed by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. They were also the writers of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. The executive producer is famous, Guillermo del Toro and produced by Melissa Cobb. Kung Fu Panda 3 returned some of the famous voice actors from the previous films and had a new cast as well. Some of these voices included, Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, J.K Simmons, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen, Kate Hudson and Jackie Chan.  The 95 minute film received positive reviews and has a 7.2 out of 10 rating on IMDb. It had a budget of  $145 million but accumulated $519.9 million at the box office.
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Our story takes place  in the Spirit Realm with Turtle, Grandmaster Oogway. Grandmaster Oogway  fights against an adversary named Kai, who has defeated other kung fu masters in the realm and taken their qi, turning them into small jade charms. Oogway willingly gives in and also has his qi stolen, but not before warning Kai that the Dragon Warrior, Po will stop him. Kai takes this as a challenge to steal the qi from the Dragon Warrior and returns to the mortal realm. Po must find a way to find his inner peace and qi to defeat Kai. With the help from his friends, long lost father and family he battles not only his strongest enemy but his inner self and doubt as well. The real question is, will he find his inner qi in time and survive in the process?

Being a fan of the Kung Fu Panda Franchise I was excited to see this film. The characters were hilarious with their dialogue and the animation was absolutely stunning. The opening shots of the spirit realm are gorgeous with lighting, colors and 3d animation. I also really enjoy that the movies have stayed true with the Chinese elements and teachings of martial arts. I also enjoyed that they incorporated inner peace and qi as an entity and compared that to the strength behind your friends and family. What I also enjoyed was the soundtrack and film score of Hans Zimmer that has also worked on the previous films. I also liked that they incorporated renowned Asian musicians such as Chinese pianist lang lang, Chinese cellist Jian Wang, pop singer Jay Chou and Canadian Taiwanese young singer Patrick Brasca.
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The Little Prince (2015) New Trailer


The Little Prince is an upcoming French 3D computer animated film based on the 1943 novel, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupert. The film is directed by Mark Osborne that has worked on notable films of More, and Kung Fu Panda.His brother is Kent Osborne an American screenwriter, actor and producer and his work includes Spongebob SquarePants and Adventure Time.  The film is produced byAton Soumache and Dimitri Rassam and written by Irena Brignull. The films stars notable French, Canadian and  American actors like Marion Cotillard, James Franco,Rachel McAdams and Jeff Bridges. The film will be released in France on July 29, 2015  and has a estimated budget of $80 million. The film will make it’s debut at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

The story centers on a pilot who crash-lands in the Sahara desert and comes across a little boy who says he is a prince fallen to Earth from his home on an asteroid. As the pilot repairs his plane, the little prince regales him with stories about his home and the foolish inhabitants of nearby asteroids. Bridges will be voicing the pilot and Marion Cotillard has the offer to voice the part of a rose. Wild Bunch is overseeing the film sales; US rights have gone to Paramount Vantage, while the film will be distributed by Entertainment One in Canada. Here is the official, The Little Prince website.

Big Hero 6 Wins Academy Award

With many surprises from the Lego movie not being nominated for an Academy Award I was surprised myself to see Big Hero 6 winning the category for best animation at the Academy Awards last night. I was hoping to see How To Train Your Dragon 2, Song of the Sea or The Tale of Princess Kaguya to bring home the Oscar. How To Train Your Dragon 2 was a strong contender for the category and was well received by critics at other award ceremonies.

11001916_10153031214386855_5346335039086191575_nEven though the movie Big Hero 6,  had many great special effects I didn’t think the story was that compelling compared to other action and superhero movies. I do expect a sequel to be created in the upcoming years and hope to see more of a character development from the other characters within the film. It would be nice to see other movies like Song of the Sea and The Tale of Princess Kaguya advertised more because both films were truly stunning  from visuals , background development and story. Other than that, congratulations to the team of Big Hero 6!

Award Ceremony Speech 

Academy Awards: Best Animated Film

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The Boxtrolls

These are the first Academy Award nominations for Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable and Travis Knight

Big Hero 6

These are the first Academy Award nominations for Don Hall and Roy Conli

How To Train Your Dragon 2

This is the second Academy Award nomination for Dean DeBlois. He was previously nominated for: How To Train Your Dragon (2010)
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Best Animation Upset

I’m sure most of you are well aware that one of the movies to be nominated for a Golden Globe this year did not make the finalist for best animation at the Academy Awards. With a lot of buzz through the internet there are a lot of people wondering why, The Lego Movie was not nominated. Being a fan of the movie myself I was a little surprised that the movie did not make the list as well. Warner brothers and the animation team certainly put a lot of effort and time in making this box office hit, awesome. Phil Lord, who co-directed with Christopher Miller, took the snub in stride, though, tweeting his own Oscar. Miller also tweeted about the snub.

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Even though the movie was snubbed for best animation it was nominated for best original song. It will be interesting to see the winner of the best animation category for this year and I’m actually really glad that Song of the Sea and The Tale of Princess Kaguya were both finalist. The Academy Awards will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, February 22, 2015. If you have any predictions or thoughts about the animation category or any other categories please write a comment. Every year I make my own predictions of each category for the award ceremony.

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Golden Globe Fun Facts

Here are some fun facts about the Golden Globes that will air  live this Sunday, January 11th, at 8pm ET
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1. There will be a total number of 25 awards handed out this Sunday: 14 film, 11 television.

2. The first telecast of the Globes was in 1958, and until 1963 it was only aired locally in L.A.

3. The first time it was broadcast nationally was during a special segment on The Andy Williams Show in 1964. (Same deal for 1965.)

4. It’s been 54 years since celebrities began hosting the Golden Globes after Rat Pack-ers Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. stormed the stage with whiskeys and cigarettes and took over the show.
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